Since gaining its independence from France in 1960, Chad has been wracked by coups, war, and political turmoil that have disrupted the political process and weakened political institutions. By June 1982, Hissène Habré used his troops to take the capital by force, quickly achieving recognition for his government by the international community.
Idriss Déby, former commander in chief of the Chadian army, formed a military unit in Sudan and began an invasion of eastern Chad. By December of 1990, he captured the capital and dissolved the assembly. A period of democratic transition began with Déby authorizing political parties in 1991 and a national conference to work out the transition process in 1992. Numerous postponements of a new Constitution and elections followed. Finally, in July 1996, Déby won the long-awaited presidential election.